Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cypher System Shotgun and Varmint Rifle

Other pages in my Firearms in Cypher System series:
Firearms in Cypher System
Shotguns (and a Varmint Rifle)
More Weapon Distinctions


Gun Store Posts:


Gun Store 1: Modern Firearms

Immediate range shotguns listed in the Cypher System book are terribly difficult to go hunting waterfowl with. My humble suggestion for a more detailed Shotgun:

Shotguns are brutal in close quarters against unarmored opponents (like Zombies), but can lose effectiveness at range or against armored targets (because each pellet needs to penetrate armor individually). 

At Immediate range 12-gauge Shotguns have a base damage of 6, Short range this drops to 4, at Long range it drops again to 2, and if Effort is applied to modify the range to 200' damage drops again to 1. 

Shotguns also have double the Slashing modifier (+2 against unarmored targets, -2 damage against targets wearing armor).

Effort to extend range to 200' reaches typical waterfowl hunting range. Double slashing and 1 point of damage at that range is just enough to pluck a Level 1 unarmored duck from the sky.

If the duck is wearing armor, your dog laughing at you when you don't kill it is the least of your worries.



Double Barreled Shotguns may fire twice at a single target in one action. The difficulty of the attack is increased by two Steps and the shooter must make a Might(4) roll or be Dazed for one round (as an Extra-Heavy weapon). Roll once for both attacks at Immediate range, once for each attack at Short or longer ranges. The potential for double-damage makes them a popular choice for Short range zombie blasting. The downside is that reloading a double-barreled shotgun takes two rounds, which gives the horde plenty of time to get to the shooter.

Shotgun gauges:

Shotguns are made in larger and smaller bore sizes than 12-gauge. The gauge number is determined by the weight, in fractions of a pound, of a solid sphere of lead with a diameter equal to the inside diameter of the barrel. So, a 10 gauge shotgun nominally should have an inside diameter equal to that of a sphere made from one-tenth of a pound of lead.

A .410 caliber shotgun (gauge 67) is a Light Shotgun with the damage profile  3/2/1/0. These shotguns tend to be used by younger hunters learning to handle a shotgun, much like the Varmint Rifle (below), and as compact "Backpacker's guns" that a hiker could use in an emergency.

The 20 gauge shotgun is a Medium weapon and has a damage profile of 4/3/2/1. Some recoil-adverse shooters prefer the 20 gauge to the heavier 12-gauge.

The 12 gauge shotgun is a Heavy weapon with a damage profile of 6/4/2/1 (Default described above). Most shotguns are 12-gauge.

The 10 gauge shotgun is a V. Heavy weapon with a damage profile of 8/6/4/2

Punt Guns were massive 10-foot long shotguns typically mounted to a small boat for use in commercial waterfowl harvesting. A Punt Gun is a Super-Heavy weapon with a damage profile of 10/8/6/4, and may have it's range extended to 400' with a damage of 2. Commercial waterfowl harvesting was declared illegal in most of the United States by the 1860's, and the practice of Market Hunting was banned by Federal legislation in 1918


Shotgun Ammo Types:

Shotshells spread slightly as the pellets travel granting a +1 to the attack roll at Short range and +2 to the attack roll at long range or beyond. Shotguns only benefit from one level of effort to modify their range (200') beyond which the blast isn't concentrated enough to be effective.

Shotguns may load Slugs, which change the weapon to a Short-Range weapon, they benefit from only two levels of effort to extend range and do not have the weapon distinction modifier. Slugs do not get the bonus to hit at Short or Long ranges. Slugs cost the same as Shotshells.

Sabot rounds fire a sub-caliber projectile encased in a sheath that drops away as the projectile leaves the barrel. This changes the Shotgun to a Long-Range weapon which may benefit from effort to extend range as normal, but reduces damage by 2.

Flechette rounds replace the shot in a typical shotshell with aerodynamic darts. 12-gauge flechette rounds were used early in the Vietnam War. This allows the shotgun to have it's range extended beyond 200' with effort, reduces the Slashing modifier to +1 against unarmored targets and -1 against armored targets, and gives the Shotgun an additional "Piercing" weapon modifier (+1 damage on rolls of 17 or higher*, -1 damage on rolls of 5 or lower). Real world applications of flechette rounds have had poor results, so a PC interested in acquiring these rounds may have to pack them himself, a Reloading(4) task.

Flexible Baton or Bean-Bag rounds inflict half damage at short range and the target must make a Might roll against a difficulty of half the shotgun's damage or be Stunned for one round. At Immediate range these rounds inflict full damage. They are ineffective beyond Short range. On a GM intrusion a Baton or Beanbag round may inflict full damage.

Dragon's Breath rounds are a zirconium pyrotechnic round effective up to 20 feet. At Immediate range they inflict full damage and will ignite a target on a failed Speed roll with a difficulty of the amount of damage the target takes. Beyond Immediate to 20' the damage is halved. Targets on fire take half the initial damage per round until they spend a turn to make a Speed roll (same difficulty as the original roll) to put themselves out. Dragon's Breath rounds are visually impressive, but have few tactical uses.



Optional Rule: Swarms and Shotguns

Using this rule most attacks against swarms can only kill one individual of the swarm at a time (example, a 4-damage attack at a swarm of 4 level 1 creatures with 3 hp each will kill one and the last point of damage is lost), shotguns fired at a swarm can do their damage to more than one creature in the swarm at a time. Heavy Melee weapons may also get this benefit.


Bonus Weapon:

Varmint Rifle: a very small caliber, (typically .22) rifle suitable learning to shoot with and/or hunting small game are commonly available without a scope for $150 to $200.
Moderately Priced Light weapon, Long range.